We didn't have too much luck hunting down vegan eateries in New Mexico, but boy did we hit the jackpot in Arizona. Not only did we potentially find the best vegan food in Arizona, but we also sampled a few dishes from other places that are a must-try. Since we've been traveling, we've discovered some pretty substantial vegan food in the United States. We understand how certain flavors work with one another, and ways you can substitute nuts and veggies to get a certain texture or dairy-free substitution. I might even venture to say that we are potentially becoming traveling vegan connoisseurs. Perhaps....
Take a look at the 3 vegan spots in Arizona that come highly recommended by The Roamans.
Pomegranate Cafe, Phoenix
Four generations of women from the same family were involved with Pomegrante Cafe. It began in 2010, as a shared dream between mother and daughter, Cassie and Marlene Tolman. Cassie's grandmother was the sole investor, and her daughter still works at the cafe every summer. Their vision was to combine these things: delicious flavor, nutritious ingredients, extraordinary service, and a unique, earth-conscious environment. Thus began Pomegranate Cafe.
Vanessa and I were floored by the flavors each dish carried. We started with the cheese plate (which remember is entirely vegan). Nut encrusted vegan cheese, combined with chopped fruit, raw hummus, parsnips, radishes, and olives made this one of the most aesthetically pleasing plates we've ever seen. After sharing this plate, we then ventured off and got our own dishes.
We were never disappointed once at Pomegranate Cafe. The menu was informative and fresh. There were SO many options from breakfast to lunch to dinner, and then of course dessert. We would've needed to spend weeks in Phoenix just to taste everything, and let me tell you if we didn't have a schedule, we would've.
I highly recommend anything with the baja sauce. My tempeh bacon, avocado, tofu sandwich was smothered in it and I savored every bite. Combine the nut goat cheese, which is covered in pistachios, with slices of strawberry, and you will simply melt into a puddle on the floor.
If you were doubting how magical this experience was for us, a hummingbird flitted by long enough for us to snap a picture. THAT was our Pomegranate Cafe experience in a nutshell.
We had difficulty finding Whyld Ass. It is not located at 101 San Francisco like Google or Yelp suggest. Turns out, they moved, but only down the street, so fear not. Call ahead to make sure they are open and verify the exact address, because their hours do vary on Sundays and Mondays.
With that said, let's dish on the dishes. We started with vegan nachos. Really, whenever we can try vegan nachos, we do. Why? Because with all the non-vegan elements that make up nachos, we like to see how some people allow for better substitutions. Whyld Ass, for example, subbed out dairy sour cream, for homemade turmeric cashew sour cream. YUM! Or you can add pickled veggies and marinated jack fruit, too. Or even a medley of beans to give it a more meaty texture. The nachos were divine, and started off our meal with a bang.
Then, we each respectively got some sammies, which were SO unbelievably flavorful, the plates were licked clean. I'm not even exaggerating. Grilled zucchini slathered in a vegan aioli...charred just right...or the Mediterranean-style wrap which had the most delectable tabbouleh I've ever had. Not too sour, not too bitter, not overflowing with parsley. It was refreshing.
We washed everything down with their in-house Chlorophyll water. You can read more about Chlorophyll water benefits here.
We got to meet one of the owners, Ryan, who told us all about his restaurant. The passion that oozed from him just speaking about nutrition and what he's accomplished was invigorating. IN HOUSE EVERYTHING. But then.....Ryan jumped in the kitchen and started cooking....all of it. He brought out our plates one by one and explained everything in each dish. We've never received such thorough service in any restaurant we've been in.
There are a few locations where you can find Whyld Ass: Flagstaff and Bisbee. We hear the food is equally great at both. The menu is updated constantly, so what you see online may not be what's in store. But you won't miss out either way.
Oh, and get the vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. You won't regret it.
You really can't go wrong when you combine vegan sammies and cocktails. Plus when you add the relaxed, almost hipster-style, Prohibition-like setting, you have an environment that is deliciously comfortable.
We pulled up to The Volstead Public House at 7:30pm only to find they close at 8pm—the girl was already breaking down. Yet, she welcomed us right on in and told us not to worry. That's always a great sign. I can't tell you how many times Vanessa and I have been greeted by disdain when we walk in somewhere and they close within the hour.
I gotta say, the sandwiches were freakin' delicious. It's like, the most sensational vegan pub fare we've had. We ordered grilled cheese with pesto, pressed panini-style called Lucky Luciano, and the Squawker Texas Ranger, which is composed of a chicken patty, smothered in buffalo sauce, in between some provolone, and topped with arugula. This too, was pressed panini-style. Remember too, these puppies are purely vegan.
We opted for the side salads instead of chips, and the tomato soup. I can't say I was super thrilled with the soup (a bit chunky and tart for my taste) but the sandwiches were unreal. Hearty, filling, and loaded with flavor.
This would absolutely be a continuous lunch spot for us if we were in Mesa, especially because they try out new sandwiches constantly. Like the Corned Beef, or Mac n Cheese grilled cheese.
If ever you happen upon these cities and need vegan food in Arizona, then trust what we've told you. Vegan fare is our specialty! Okay, maybe not our specialty, but we take it pretty damn seriously.
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